Novak Djokovic nears his 23rd Grand Slam title at the French Open after Carlos Alcaraz cramps up

Paris, June 10 (U.S.): It was Carlos Alcaraz, not Novak Djokovic, who invoked the “How did he do that?!” He was filmed in the semi-finals of the French Open that went viral in minutes and would be talked about for years.

It was Alcaraz, 20, and not Djokovic, 36, whose young side had, of course, the biggest gap between the two Grand Slam semi-finalists since 1991. It was Alcaraz, not Djokovic, who complained to his coach as early as 85-degrees. Afternoon on Court Philippe Chatrier that the points weren’t long enough to wear down his opponent.

However, it was Alcaraz, not Djokovic, who succumbed to the heat, the intensity and, by his own admission, the nerves of the occasion. It was Alcaraz, not Djokovic, whose body shattered. And so it is No. 3 seed Djokovic, not top seed Alcaraz, who will play in Paris with a chance to add to his title collection.

Using every bit of his superiority in experience and physique, Djokovic overcame a jerky Alcaraz 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 to reach his 34th final. The Associated Press reported that this allowed Djokovic to approach his 23rd Grand Slam tournament, which would break the tie with rival Rafael Nadal for the men’s record.

On Sunday, Djokovic meets 4th seed Casper Ruud, who knocked out 22nd seed Alexander Zverev 6-3, 6-4, 6-0.

Ruud will be playing in his third final in the past five tournaments – including in Paris a year ago, when he lost to Nadal – but he is still chasing his first title.

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